Review of 'The Twenty-Year Death: The Falling Star'

The Twenty-Year Death: The Falling Star by Ariel S. Winter

the_twenty_year_death_the_falling_star.jpg In 1940s Hollywood, Dennis Foster a “hard-boiled” private detective is hired by Merton Stein Productions to protect a rising star. When another actress is found brutally murdered Foster is fired but takes an interest in the murder but discovers the rampant deception of the industry and a scandal that strikes at the very root of the studio. As the body count rises so does the need to put a stop to it as soon as possible…

The second book in “The Twenty-Year Death” series (though note the books are all standalone novels and can be read in any order) “The Falling Star” does a great job at evoking 1940s Hollywood where the big studios dominated with nepotism and under-the-table deals. Though the detective is billed as “hard-boiled” the image of Foster never really brings this to mind rather instead being inquisitive, straying into places and events he would be better served avoiding. Throughout the book we are continually told that there is something significant going on that needs to be discovered yet the ultimate reveal, though quite dramatic, is not entirely surprising and the reader is left feeling a bit let down. It was, at times, difficult to follow the multiple characters involved though this is not entirely crucial to enjoyment. These characters are all quite one-dimensional with the only one even marginally engaging and fleshed-out being our narrator, the detective.

Reading through the information about this novel it is supposed to evoke the style of Raymond Chandler. I am not I really care too much, I am more interested in how it actually reads as a book in it's own right rather than playing stylistic games. I figure a book should, first and foremost, be readable and enjoyable on it's own rather than a piece of written art.

Another easy, light read from Winter that manages to capture a bit of the era and the pulp private-detective novel.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-06-13

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 9781781167946

Other reviewed books by Ariel S. Winter: